Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage Everyone,
As I mentioned last month in my previous post last month, we are off on our FIRST ever family holiday! Tomorrow morning (Friday 25th November) we are jetting off to Tenerife, on a early morning flight!

Now everything is coming together, passports are sorted and the bags are almost packed. The stress of travelling is setting in, I have to admit that I am most nervous about flying with Leo. Once we are there and settled in, I think I will be able to relax and enjoy it.
We are leaving behind the cold british weather and climatising to warmer pastures! So I will be quiet for the next week or so, but I am sure Leo and I will be back with many a tales to tell!
So I hope you all have brilliant weeks and I will look forward to catching up with you all upon my return!

Take care all,
Love Laura & Leo xx

Garden Games

I am a big trampoline fan, and I imagine next summer when Leo has found his feet…he will be loving the bouncing forgiving ways of the trampoline for himself!

I have been thinking about the current state of our trampoline for a while, and obviously if I intend to let Leo use it next year, then I need to make sure that is up to scratch and of course safe!

Keeping safety in mind, with the trampoline in it’s current state I would not be happy to let Leo on it. There are a few things I need to improve on the safety front first, one of which being safety pads.

Leo and I have been sent a set of Deluxe Replacement Trampoline Pads to review from Etoyszone - Garden Games. These pads are absolutely brilliant and fit any round trampoline out there, they also come in a variety of sizes too.

We have the 14ft specification to fit our trampoline soundly. The new pads are so much thicker than the originals that came as standard with the trampoline from new. This results in a softer landing if by chance a fall was to occur, and as a added bonus you cannot feel the springs through the pads.


This does provide me with reassurance that the pads really do their job effectively, this means there is a significantly less chance of bumps and bruises for my lovely Leo, and also myself of course.

The material the pads are made out of is really effective and that is because they are constructed from shock absorbing closed cell memory foam. They are encased in a very hard wearing canvas material which is UV resistant and waterproof, and for all of us that live in the UK I am sure we can all appreciate the crazy weather we often experience, but with these pads they will with stand the elements and not crack when exposed to frost or sunlight!

I have to say I am so very happy with these trampoline pads, as safety is paramount to me and my family. I feel that they are amazing value for money and they really exceed expectations, with a 2 year warranty added to the deal then you can’t go wrong!

So For all of you eager bouncers out there, you can pick up a Deluxe Trampoline Pad for yourself from £37.80 for an 8ft up to £64.99 for a 14ft set. Head over to Garden Games and check out their site for yourself, they have a whole range of outdoor fun and games to be enjoyed and for the really adventurous bunch of you…why not treat your kiddies to a Trampoline Tent! The big kid in me is loving the idea, when Leo is older I think I am going to end up spending a small fortune on exciting out door play.


Leo may be to small to experience the trampoline this year, but come next summer when he is up on his feet, we will enjoy his first trampoline experience together, in a safe and fun way!

Laura xx
http://www.etoyszone.co.uk/acatalog/Accessories.html

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Slugs & Snails

I am sure every mother with a baby boy has come to the realisation, that there is never much choice or varierty in the clothes available to them, and more often than not they are not very exciting.

I had never noticed this fact before becoming pregnant with Leo, but upon finding out I was team blue, it all became very apparent that stores cater for girls rather than boys. If you are looking for a little tutu for your pink flavour then you are sure to find one... but if you are looking for a adorable little outfit other then jeans for your little boy...good luck to you!

I recently came accross Slugs & Snails a company that designs tights specifically for BOYS! When I came accross this, I have to admit it put a smile on my face! Kat has found a gap in the market, filled it and run with it, no-one else does what she does, and I know how hard she has worked to make this happen.

Here are my two favourite designs that I am going to be ordering for my lovely Leo. He is going to look amazing in them! They are snug and warm...perfect for the on-coming winter months! With the days getting colder I am looking for new and innovative ways to keep him toasty warm!




I am so glad Kat has brought us these fabulous tights for our boys and I cannot wait to get Leo in a pair to parade around in!

So head over to http://www.slugsandsnails.ie and check out the rest of the range and show Kat some appreciation for the hard work she has put in, bringing us these brilliant ways for us to keep are bubbas toasty warm this winter!

You can also follow Kat on Twitter @slugsandsnails0

Laura & Leo xx

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Christmas Time Traditions



With Christmas almost knocking on the door, it has got me thinking about long running family traditions that complete your annual festivities.
For me it is important to spend Christmas at home with my parents, brothers and sister. Obviously this year...Leo is going to be joining in the festive fun, and I want to carry on my own family traditions and also bring some new ones into the equation.

Normally Luke and I have Christmas at our own parents home, and then meet up after we have had our Christmas lunch and exchange gifts. This year we have had to debate....who gets Leo? Obviously we both want to be with our baby boy and share his first Christmas with him, and watch him play with his wrapping paper, marveling at the joy in his eyes!

Luckily we have reached a compromise and we will all be spending Christmas at home with my family, and opening the house up in the evening for Luke's family to come and visit Leo and share the festive cheer. It is so hard to please everyone, but for me Christmas is only Christmas at home.
The last thing I want is to intrude on Luke's traditions with his family, but how do we meet each other half way without gallivanting all over the country?
Leo's presents have all been hand crafted in Santa's workshop and are safely wrapped, ready to be delivered to Leo on Christmas day in his very own personalised Santa's sack. His named stocking is ready to hang on the fireplace, and there is even talk of the glass of sherry and mince pie that will be left out for Santa to have a sit down and rest bite on his night time cruise.

We all have our own tree decoration in our house, one that dates back to our very first Christmas. To carry on this tradition I have purchased Leo some of his very own decorations. He has one with his name and also one specifically aimed for baby's first Christmas and allows me to put in a picture of him enjoying his big day! When Leo is of the age of being able to decorate the tree, we will do this together as a family. This is something that should be fun for everyone involved, and I will love sharing this task with Leo, I will lift him up high to put the angel pride of place on top of the tree for everyone to see.

When I was younger we always used to read 'The Night Before Christmas' on Christmas Eve, this always used to fill me with excitement, and I hope that this will instill in Leo also.

I grew up with all the belief in Santa, and I want Leo too as well. I want him to get excited about the man in red flying his sleigh through the night with Rudolph lighting his way to bring presents to all the girls and boys. I want him to believe in the magic of this time of year, for as long as possible. I am so excited about Christmas this year, and this is all down to Leo, It is a day truly all about children and having a baby, for me makes it so much more special.

Leo will be leaving out a carrot for Rudolph on the lawn, right next to his 'Santa Please Stop Here' sign, who knows maybe in the morning there will be hoof prints and a half eaten carrot...curtousy of Luke :-)

I have already told Luke that I want us to take Leo on the Santa Express train local to us, he seemed amazed that I wanted to do it this year...when Leo wont even remember it. This may be the case, but pictures tell a thousand words, and I shall be taking so many photos! Leo will have such a detailed childhood told through pictures and words, so he will be very aware of it, even if it isn't a crystal clear memory in his mind. I will tell the story to him.

I really want to get a picture of Leo with Santa this Christmas, I only hope this is still possible...with all the regulations these days, I have been told that children can no longer sit on Santa's lap! If this is what the world is coming to then how sad is that? If the innocence of having a picture taken of your child and Father Christmas is gone....then I am utterly lost for words! Unfortunatly I am determined to obtain this image and if I cannot do this on our exciting train journey, then I shall be on the hunt for a grandparent or two to play dress up!

I am currently planning some exciting activities for Leo and I to do over the 12 Days of Christmas and the run up to the 25th December 2011, consisting of baking, days out and other crafts! We are going to be in for a busy but enjoyable time.

So I have to ask, what are your family traditions? Do you carry on traditions your parents past down? Have you implemented your own traditions in order to add your own magic to Christmas?

I look forward to reading all about your traditions and may even take some of your ideas on board to add more festive fun to my list!

For more Christmas Time Traditions head over to Romanian Mum in London and read all about her festive traditions!

Now we just have to wish for snow!

Laura xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

We have a roll over! A rolling Baby!

Today Leo decided he was going to reward me by finally rolling over! It was completely unexpected and out of the blue, but equally amazing and instantly put a smile on my shocked face.

For the past 3 weeks we have been attending a baby massage session at a local children's centre, last week another baby (16 weeks old!) decided to do the un-thinkable and roll over. Once she started there was no stopping her! This week....it was our turn!

Leo was enjoying a leg massage...well he was until he suddenly tippled himself over on to his tummy! At first I thought that I somehow assisted his sudden rolly poly....so to test him, I instinctivly placed him on his back. Instantly he was back on his tummy. I am one very proud Mummy!

I have tried to demonstarte Leo's new trick to Luke, but unfortunatly Leo does not want to perform on demand! So I guess Daddy will now have to play the waiting game in order to see his son performing his new party piece!
I know now that he is on the move....so I have to kiss the days of being able to put him down in one place, and finding him there moments later...Goodbye! So goodbye and adios, I will miss you! However a BIG hello...to the new little monster who is going to be keeping me on my toes for the rest of my days!

Below you can see Leo rolling over! We are all very proud :-))

video

After this momentious occasion we decided to pay my brother's other half a visit, so Leo has now had his first dip in a hot tub! He absolutly loved floating around in the warmth and bubbles. He showed his appreciation by kicking and babbling. We even got to use his new baby float prior to a impending trip to Tenerife next week!

So after another busy day of going here, there and everywhere we are back at home...Leo is tucked up in bed and me...well I am sat with a well deserved white wine! It is Friday night after all!
Enjoy your weekends everyone!
Laura xx

Olly's Rainbow

Have you ever read a story where you think to yourself ‘that could be me?’ or a story that speaks out past the paper the text is printed on? Or leaps off the screen and speaks straight to your heart?

This is how I felt when I read Alex’s story....a story of how her 5 month old beautiful baby boy went to play with the angels on October 26th 2010.

Olly was a bouncy baby boy, and looked so happy and bubbly in every single photo I have seen, He was the picture of health. He is loved by so many people and lives on through a charity set up by family and friends, Olly’s Rainbow.

Olly’s Rainbow was set up with the aim to raise awareness to families whose babies make the unexpected transition to becoming angels, and growing their wings before their time.

Alex’s story raises much needed awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the charity are using the money raised to supply families on a low income a means to prevent SIDS knocking on their door.

They are providing these families with the AngelCare Movement & Sound Monitors, This amazing piece of equipment comes with your usual sound monitors but also provides extra piece of mind with a movement sensor that gets placed underneath the baby’s mattress. If the baby stops breathing for 20 seconds an alarm sounds, giving you chance to act quickly and potentially save a life.

We are active users of the AngelCare Movement & Sound monitors and it really puts our mind at rest, it is an amazing technology and it has never gone off unexpectedly causing un-due alarm. I was touched to know that the charity our supplying these systems, as they are brilliant piece of equipment but at around £80.00 a set....they are not for everyone.

My heart goes out to Alex and her entire family, I hope along the way of helping everyone that they do, Alex can see the good rising out of the darkness and realise how proud little Olly is of his Mummy.

Please pop over to their official website for Olly's Rainbow and get friends and family to look to the skies...look for Olly and his many colourful rainbows!

Leo and I saw Olly just the other week....he shone brightly over a neighbours house, putting some glitter against a darkened sky.

For me this is such an important issue, and is something that I always worry about. So for me this heartbreaking story has made me question would I know what to do if the AngelCare alarm sounded? Would other readers know exactly what to do?

I am thinking hard about putting my name down for a first aid course, specifically to aid Leo if he ever did need me to in this way.

For now everyone....keep chasing those rainbows :-))

Laura and Leo xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

12 Months of Leo

I just wanted to share 12 Months of Leo with you :-))
This is going to become a calender for close family and friends this Christmas. I am quite proud of some of the photos,  some of our inspiration for these pictures lies entirely with Mila's Daydreams.

I hope you enjoy your journey through the next 12 Months of Leo!

January







February








March











April









May







June











July












August








September











October








November










December

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Who do you're children most look like?


As the weeks go by, Leo has started to really become his own little person. He has acquired his own cheeky little personality and really knows what he likes....but also what he really does not.
One thing is clear to me through all the change though...because as the weeks go by....he is growing to look more and more like his Dad. He is in fact Luke’s double!
Unfortunately I have not seen any photos of Luke as a baby, but I am pretty sure that if I did get hold of some, he would have many of the same characteristics as Leo does.
This got me thinking about genetics in general and wondering who your children look most like? Is it Mummy or Daddy? Or even a bit of both?
When I look at Leo all I can see is Luke staring back at me, the same big blue eyes and big Cheshire cat smiles...all be it Leo’s are very gummy and extra cute!


When it comes to personality I do believe that Leo will have inherited some of my traits....being very cheeky and outgoing. I know that as soon as Leo can get on the move he will.....and then I am really going to have my work cut out for me between him and his Dad!
Who do your children take after most?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Calling all Stay at Home Mummy's & Daddy's

Dear all stay at home Mum’s & Dad’s,

The further I get into my maternity leave, the more I realise how much I am dreading going back to work, and the harder I know it will be leaving Leo 5 days a week from 8:30 in the morning...until 5pm at night.
I am taking advantage of every moment I get to spend with Leo...we are going to baby groups on a weekly basis and we have just enrolled in a baby massage and yoga course! We socialise with other Mummy’s with baby’s around the same age and we also have days where it is just the two of us...enjoying each other’s company.
I saved my holiday entitlement up last year to bump up my maternity pay, and worked right up until the very end of my pregnancy....I have been into my place of work this week, and under new rules that have been introduced...I can no longer be on leave and obtain my holiday, it turns out now....you have to be on one or the other.
This actually works out better for me, as I was originally having to go back to work in March/April....but I can now see myself being able to stay off until May/June! This is all because once my maternity pay stops....I can bank in all my holiday! It is a blessing in disguise...
This means I can now afford to stay at home, make sure all my bills are covered and also see Leo crawl...walk...see him turn 1 year old on June 27th 2012 and carry on all of our many adventures together. Who knows I may even hear his first words! The thought of missing these crucial moments in his life, shake me to the core. How can I even consider going back to work and missing these specialmoments in my baby’s development?
This is why I have addressed this post to all Stay at Home Mummy’s and Daddy’s, because I have a few questions that I would like a few varied opinions on.

How and when did you make your decision to not return to the world of work?

How did your other half react?

Do you enjoy your role as Stay at Home Parent?

How do you cover the monthly outgoing bills?

What are your thoughts on women that do return to work?

Do you have any advice, for women or men who would like to take on the role as a stay at home parent?


I would love to hear from all walks of life so I can get many as many varied opinions as possible. Please pass this post around to all stay at home parents so we can get a good insight into how they made their decisions, and maybe help a few parents like me, who want the best of both worlds.
Laura and Leo xx


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it was high time to start taking a look into which seasonal greetings cards, I was going to be sending out to friends and family this year.

This year being extra special....as it is Leo’s First Christmas and we want to mark the occasion by sending out very personal greetings cards.
I came across a lovely site called ‘Tiny Prints’ who offer a brilliant collection of Christmas cards to Birth announcements, there truly is a card for every occasion.
After having a look through all of their designs and adding the ones that stood out most to me, to ‘My Favourites bar’ so I could have one final look through, I decided that my final choice was most likely going to be the Dreamy Snow: Mauve. 
If any of you are interested in this design too, here is the link: http://www.tinyprints.com/product/28769/ornament_cards_dreamy_snow.html

I particularly liked the unique style of this greeting card as it can be hung up, where as the traditional card has to stand. Our family always tape string to the wall and hang up all the cards we receive; they act as another Christmas decoration and brighten up the rooms of the house even more. We are very big on everything Christmas in our family and insist on leaving out cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Clause himself! This is a tradition we will be instilling in Leo over the next couple of years!
The Dreamy Snow card stood out to me as this is Leo’s first Christmas, family will want to have a picture of him pride of place, and this card offers a lovely way to do this as It allows you to add your own personal touches to the cards, in the forms of text and of course your own photos. We had some lovely studio pictures taken of Leo, which I will be using for this year’s holiday cards.
So head on over to: http://www.tinyprints.com/shop/picture-christmas-cards.htm for all your Christmas card needs and take a look around this year’s brilliant collection.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

So who should you listen to anyway?

So....

Dear readers....

Dear all Mummys to be.....Dear new Mummys and all new Daddys....Dear second time parents with 3 or 4.....and anyone who has ever been given conflicting advice.

I know from first hand experience that as soon as you find out your pregnant, everyone has advice and an opinon to ram straight down your throat, and as soon as you have had your baby......my oh my.....it gets worse!

So you are recovering from actually giving birth, some of you may even be trying to perfect the breastfeeding latch, where as some of you will want to go down the formula route, and all of you will be getting to know your new baby.

Midwifes will tell you how breast is best and really turn up the heat, that may push you into a corner...make you feel like a bad mother for not wanting to breastfeed, or not being able to, despite wanting to. I am a firm believer in doing what you feel is best.

As soon as Leo was born, he was placed upon me for skin to skin and imedietly the midwife pushed for a latch. I was not asked whether this is what I wanted...It was just done. I did want to breastfeed however, and for the first week I thought that we had got it sorted. I thought that we were well on the road to becoming breastfeeding super stars!

Only.....within the first week I was told that my baby boy was not getting what he needed from me, he infact had lost 11% of his birth weight. That latch...that I thought we had mastered was in fact not providing Leo anything. I felt like a failure.

So cue the midwifes bringing in all the proceedures and 'helpful advice'...I had more midwifes than I care to remember...each with a different opinion. I was told to hand express and to give this extra milk to Leo on a spoon - under no circumstances was I to give Leo a bottle, and I shouldn't even attempt to use a pump at this early stage. The midwife sent out the breastfeeding support worker who sat there and watched my every move....she didn't really offer me any advice, nor did some of the people offering their 'golden advice' have any children of their own!

As soon as everyone left, I could not contain my emotions any longer and just sat their and sobbed. I had really put my all into doing my best for Leo, and my best was not good enough. I couldn't do the most natural thing in the world....feed my baby.

That night, Leo went down and slept until 2:30am, when he woke up no matter what I did...he would not latch on. I felt that I was the only one that could feed him...and I couldn't....I was failing. He was hungry and I couldn't feed him.

At around 4:00am after constant screaming...and nothing I did able to console him. I ignored all the advice and I got my elecric pump set up, I expressed 2 oz's into a bottle and Leo readily snapped it up. I made my desicion to feed Leo my expressed milk through a bottle.

The midwife was coming back in 2 days to make sure Leo had stopped losing weight, and in the hope he had started to pile back on the pounds.

The next day.. after Leo's first bottle, I sat on the pump all day...like a dairy cow...trying to express my milk. It made me feel horrible. Leo was in his moses basket and all I wanted to do was pick up my gorgeous baby and spend all my time with him, but I told myself I was doing the best for my son and continued to sit their expressing. It turns out my milk had not come in at this point.....

That evening I went out and I bought a box of formula. I then tried out combined feeding, as I really did not fancy expressing every 3 hours, especially throughout the night but I did not want to give up on breastfeeding completely at this point.

As silly as it may sound, I thought that by admiting defeat, I had let so many people down....Leo, myself, the midwifes, the support worker. my other half.....even all the people that I had told that I was going to be breastfeeding my son. By this point...I really did not want to carry on any longer.

I combined fed Leo for 2 weeks, before I put my hands up in the air and surrendered. Since buying the formula I have not looked back....and guess what! Leo has been doing just brilliant, he put all the weight he lost back on...and more! He is thriving!

I told the midwife's my final desicion and they still tried to push me into breastfeeding. I learnt that you have to make up your mind...stick to it and stand your ground! You do what is best for you and your baby! If Mummy is not happy then it stands to reason that baby wont be either.

Feeding is just one example of conflicting advice. Everyone has a old remedy that you must use....grandparents, inlaws, aunts...uncles....So who should you listen to anyway?

Listen to everyone, but do what you think is best. Maybe use bits and pieces of everyones advice if it fits in with YOUR picture for YOUR baby. If you don't agree with what you are being told...listen and then forget it all. People are trying to help, but sometimes they do just the opposite.

I have been given advice on everything, when to wean, when to change my son's nappy, routine, how I am making a 'rod' for my own back....but still Leo is doing so well.

So dear readers..Dear all Mummys to be.....Dear new Mummys and all new Daddys....Dear second time parents with 3 or 4.....and anyone who has ever been given conflicting advice.

Follow your heart, you know your baby better than anyone else. Your natural instinct is to do your very best. So keep giving it your all!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dear Leo....

Dear Leo,

This sudden change in sleep pattern is not working for me. I know that at only 18 weeks old, you have always spoilt me with the amount of sleep you have allowed me to steal at any one given time.

Since you turned 15 weeks old this has all changed! You may only be getting up once a night....but I would love to know, when you think you will be ready to sleep through until 7:00am again.

Don't get me wrong....it is lovely that at 4:00am you are in such a playful mood....and grinning like a cheshire cat....but no Leo, I don't want to play at this early hour.

If you could point me in the right direction of what you need for this to happen, you can rest assured it will happen, with no questions asked!

I thought you may be going through the dreaded four month growth spurt. Maybe you are? How long do you think this may last Leo?

So far you have sailed through every other spurt and without much disruption to either of us. I hope at the end of this transition, my amazing all night sleeper returns to me.

So Leo, for the moment I know that we have to get up for either a quick bottle of milk or a twilight playtime, but please remember Mummy will be a better Mummy with a few more hours shut eye! We will get you through your much needed growing time.....but please slot back into our little routine very soon! Love Mummy xx


Dear 4 month growth spurt,

I am not a huge fan of yours, I know you bring about important changes in my baby boy, but you have had your clutches on him for weeks!

I just want to know how long you plan on sticking around? Why have you made this the worst hit yet?

So please 4 month growth spurt, It is high time you leave....enough is enough.

Thank you!

Leo's Mummy x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Baby boy is growing up!

Leo is a very determined baby, he knows to a certain degree what he wants, and what he most certainly doesn't want.

The latest thing in the long running line of things that he does not want.....is his hatred for the pram, at 18 weeks old he is telling me in his own special way, that he is far to old to be lay down and pushed around like a baby.

Leo tells me that the pram dis-pleases him by screaming all the way to our destination....or just on a stroll around town. He tells me by arching his head and rivalling his shoulders, trying to pull himself up. Upon picking him up....silence...he can see all around and is once again the usual bubby baby I know and love.

This has gone on for a number of weeks but today, I decided enough was enough and it was high time for me to accept that my baby is growing up, and he wants to see the world and no longer stare at the sky.

It only seems five minutes ago that he couldn't move much at all. Now he is so determined to do things, and it is only a matter of time before he is doing all the things he longs to.

So I ask you, where has my tiny newborn baby gone!?

We are the proud owners of the Mothercare Spin, it is such a fab travel systen and continues to do us proud. So now the pram component has made the transition from the travel bed into......the stroller.

Please Leo just slow down, stay small and don't rush. Mummy is not ready to let her baby grow up just yet. Just try to.... never grow up.....it could all stay this simple!

Love Mummy x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The First Halloween

Yesterday was Leo's first ever Halloween. I wanted to mark the occasion and make our own festivities! I know that Halloween is not on any level compared to the likes of Christmas, but I wanted Leo to know that I made the effort right from the start.

Poor Leo had come down with a nasty cold, so he wasn't feeling his jolly old self, but he looked just lovely in his bright orange pumpkin costume and matching hat. Although he wasn't 100% he was still smiles and chuckles, even through his blocked nose!

We ran around all morning on the hunt for pumpkins....which apparently you cannot buy in the shops on Halloween...everywhere was sold out, which I have to say is just un-believable! Finally we managed to hunt 4 big juicy pumpkins down at a farm in Cropthorne, after hitting up all the local supermarkets and always coming up short!

I personally have never even considered carving a pumpkin, let alone 4! I rose to the occasion and found some ideas online, and set about cutting them all open and removing all the flesh. Then the tricky part....putting my useless drawing skills to the test!

Some how...I don't know how....all my efforts paid off and I was rewarded with 4 rather distinguished pumpkins to sit on my front porch. Leo's first ever pumpkins!

I know Leo is far too young to even remember, let alone appreicate these gestures but I wanted to make the effort this year more than any. I want to make our own family traditions and I want to implement them from the very start.

I am rather envoius of Mothers who are in the position to be Stay at Home Mummies, especiallay when they don't seem to realise how lucky they are to be in that unique situation, they get the oppurunity to do all these fun and exciting things with their children and they don't make the effort too.

Every year I will make this effort, especially when I return to work. Next year I am sure we will be able to get into a mess pulling the flesh out together! Next year we will even bake some spooky cupcakes!

For now though I feel I have marked Leo's first Halloween, and these pumpkins will always be his first....and my first triumph in pumpkin carving.

Family traditions are very important to me, and I cannot wait until I can put our Christmas traditions in place, and tell Leo all about Father Christmas and all the magic that comes with it.

Happy Halloween all!